Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly transmitted, though it may employ point to point wireless links. CCTV is often used for surveillance in areas that may need monitoring such as banks, casinos, airports, military installations and convenience stores.
The increasing use of CCTV in public places has caused a debate over public surveillance versus privacy. People can also buy consumer CCTV Systems for personal, private or commercial use. A more advanced form of CCTV, utilizing Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), provides recording for possibly many years, with a variety of quality and performance options and extra features (such as motion-detection and email alerts). In industrial plants, CCTV equipment may be used to observe parts of a process from a central control room; when, for example, the environment is not comfortable for humans.CCTV systems may operate continuously or only as required to monitor a particular event.
History Sign warning that premises are watched by CCTV cameras.The first CCTV system was installed by Siemens AG at Test Stand VII in Peenemünde, Germany in 1942, for observing the launch of V2-rockets. The noted German engineer Walter Bruch was responsible for the design and installation of the system. CCTV recording systems are still often used at modern launch sites to record the flight of the rockets, in order to find the possible causes of malfunctions,while larger rockets are often fitted with CCTV allowing pictures of stage separation to be transmitted back to earth by radio link.In September of 1968, Olean, NY was the first city in the United States to install video cameras along its main business street in an effort to fight crime. The use of closed-circuit TV cameras piping images into the Olean Police Department propelled Olean to the forefront of crime-fighting technology.The use of CCTV later on became very common in banks and stores to prevent theft, respectively record evidence of criminal activity, both by customers / outside criminals or by staff. This use popularised the concept.In recent decades, and especially with terrorism and general crime fears growing in the 1990s and 2000s, public space use of surveillance cameras has taken off, especially in some countries such as the United Kingdom.
UsesCrime prevention / evidence
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, during the Columbine High School Massacre.CCTV for use outside government special facilities was developed initially as a means of increasing security in banks. Experiments in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s (including outdoor CCTV in Bournemouth in 1985), led to several larger trial programs in the early 1990s. These were deemed successful in the government report "CCTV: Looking Out For You", issued by the Home Office in 1994, and paved the way for a massive increase in the number of CCTV systems installed. Today, systems cover most town and city centres, and many stations, car-parks and estates. The exact number of CCTV cameras in the UK is not known but a 2002 working paper by Michael McCahill and Clive Norris of UrbanEye, based on a small sample in Putney High Street, estimated the number of surveillance cameras in private premises in London is around 500,000 and the total number of cameras in the UK is around 4,200,000.According to their 'guestimate' the UK has one camera for every 14 people, although it has been acknowledged that the methodology behind this figure is somewhat dubious. The CCTV User Group estimate that there around 1.5 million CCTV cameras in city centres, stations, airports, major retail areas and so forth. This figure does not include the smaller surveillance systems such as those that may be found in local corner shops. However, there is little evidence that CCTV deters crime. According to a Liberal Democrat analysis, in London "Police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any."  A 2008 Report by UK Police Chiefs concluded that only 3% of crimes were solved by CCTV. Cameras have also been installed in taxis in the hope of deterring violence against drivers , and in mobile police surveillance vans. In some cases CCTV cameras have become a target of attacks themselves. Middlesbrough council have recently installed "Talking CCTV" cameras in their busy town-centre. It is a system pioneered in Wiltshire, which allows CCTV operators to communicate directly with the offenders they spot.
The use of CCTV in the United States is less common, though increasing, and generally meets stronger opposition. In 1998 3,000 CCTV systems were found in New York City. There are 2,200 CCTV systems in Chicago.
The most measurable effect of CCTV is not on crime prevention, but on a small number of high media-profile case of detection. The investigation or prosecution of several notable murder cases have been aided by the use of CCTV evidence; such as the apprehension of David Copeland, the Soho nail bomber. The use of CCTV to track the movements of missing children is now routine. After the bombings of London on 7 July 2005, CCTV footage was used to identify the bombers. The media was surprised that few tube trains actually had CCTV cameras, and there were some calls for this to be increased.On July 22, 2005, Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police at Stockwell tube station. CCTV footage debunked claims made by the Metropolitan Police in defence of the shooting of an innocent man. Because of the bombing attempts the previous day, some of the tapes had been supposedly removed from CCTV cameras for study, and they were not functional. An ongoing change to DVR based technology may in future stop similar problems occurring.The UK cameras were deployed and are maintained by NEP - Roll to Record, a division of NEP Broadcasting.In the UK, CCTV is also used to target anti-social behaviour. In many areas, Local Authority CCTV works with the police to combat, for example, drink-related anti-social behaviour in town/city centres or youth-related anti social behaviour in housing estates.
Opponents of CCTV point out the loss of privacy of the people under surveillance, and the negative impact of surveillance on civil liberties. Furthermore, they argue that CCTV displaces crime, rather than reducing it. Critics often dub CCTV as "Big Brother surveillance", a reference to George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which featured a two-way telescreen in every home through which The Party would monitor the populace. More positive views of CCTV cameras have argued that the cameras are not intruding into people's privacy, as they are not surveilling private, but public space, where an individual's right to privacy can reasonably be weighed against the public's need for protection.The recent growth of CCTV in housing areas also raises serious issues about the extent to which CCTV is being used as a social control measure rather than simply a deterrent to crime. However, since the events of September 11, 2001, many studies have suggested that public opinion of CCTV has grown more favorable. Many proponents of CCTV cite the attacks of the London Underground bombings as one example of how effective surveillance led to swift progress in post-event investigations.Quite apart from government-permitted use (or abuse), questions are also raised about illegal access to CCTV recordings. The Data Protection Act 1998 in the United Kingdom led to legal restrictions on the uses of CCTV recordings, and also mandated their registration with the Data Protection Agency. The successor to the DPA, the Information Commissioner in 2004 clarified that this required registration of all CCTV systems with the Commissioner, and prompt deletion of archived recordings. However subsequent case law (Durant vs. FSA) has limited the scope of the protection provided by this law, and not all CCTV systems are currently regulated. Private sector personnel in the UK who operate or monitor CCTV devices or systems are now considered security guards and have been made subject to state licensing.A 2007 report by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, highlighted the need for the public to be made more aware of the "creeping encroachment" into their civil liberties created by the growing use of surveillance apparatus. A year prior to the report Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, warned that Britain was "sleepwalking into a surveillance society".In 2007, the UK watchdog CameraWatch claimed that the majority of CCTV cameras in the UK are operated illegally or are in breach of privacy guidelines. In response, the Information Commissioner's Office denied the claim adding that any reported abuses of the Data Protection Act are swiftly investigated. In the United States, there are no such data protection mechanisms. It has been questioned whether CCTV evidence is allowable under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures". The courts have generally not taken this view.In Canada, the use of video surveillance has grown very rapidly.
In Ontario, both the municipal and provincial versions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  outline very specific guidelines that control how images and information can be gathered by this method and/or released.